The Lowry Trail, is an intriguing beautiful walk, suitable for all abilities. It provides the walker with magnificent riverside coastal and town, views, views so good the artist Lowry painted them!
The artist Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976) is famous for his matchstick men paintings mainly of industrial scenes. However, he liked to holiday in the seaside border town of Berwick upon Tweed – England's most northerly town on the east coast. He visited the town many times from the mid 1930's until shortly before his death. During that time he produced a fascinating group of more than 30 drawings and paintings.
The Lowry Trail, was set up by The Berwick Preservation Trust. The trail allows the walker to follow in the footsteps of Lowry, visiting the many sites of Lowry's finest paintings of the area. At each place where Lowry stood to paint there is a copy of the painting on a panel. Standing, looking at the view as Lowry did, one can understand why he wanted to paint it!
As well as providing the walker with magnificent views of the town, coast, River Tweed it also provides the walk with a journey through history. Berwick upon Tweed is an ancient, historical town with some rather special old buildings and with a turbulent history.
To walk the Lowry Trail takes around three hours and includes 18 identified painting sites. It is a self guided walk By visiting the tourist information office in Castlegate, Berwick Upon Tweed or http://www.visitberwick.com or http:// www.visitnorthumberland.com. the visitor can be provided with information on the Lowry Trail which includes a full, easy to read map of the walk.
What I like about this walk (as I have some mobility problems) is it allows you to either do it all in one day, or you can do sections at a time. You can join the walk at any point of the walk and leave it with ease. You are never far from places to sit, eat and drink.
The walk starts in a very old part of the town called Dewars Lane, near to the river. Here in Dewars lane the first of the copy paintings is positioned on a panel in the street.
There is a car park in Dewars Lane which includes Blue badge car parking bays. Steps lead from the car park to the Elizabethan Town Walls (from which the walk continues). Should you not wish to climb these stone steps, then access to the Town Walls can be gained from the Granary building opposite the car park.. The Granary building houses a café, accommodation and an art gallery. It is completely disabled friendly. A lift to the Art Gallery floor, allows level access to the Elizabethan Town Walls.
The Lowry trail first takes you along the Elizabethan Town Walls and the Ramparts which is a distance of about three and a quarter miles. The Elizabethan Town Walls are the only example of Bastion Town Walls in Britain and one of the best preserved in Europe.
The walk along the town walls and ramparts provides spectacular river, coastal and town views. Footpaths are generally good and flat. From points along this part of the walk, Lowry painted many pictures and these sites are all identified. There is seating along this section of the walk. If you want to leave the walk at any time there are plenty of exits leading immediately into town.
Having completed the almost circular route along the Town Walls and Ramparts the walk takes you to Bridge End, where Lowry painted and which gives the walker beautiful views of the stone bridges which span the River Tweed. The walk then leads you over one of these stone bridges – the low Bridge to the village of Tweedmouth.
Tweedmouth is one of the best places to see the area's famous colony of mute swans. The walk takes you through the village along the route Lowry followed. Here the pathway sits on a flat grassed area, lined with seats from which there are some rather good views of the harbour and town
The walk takes you through the village of Tweedmouth and on to the seaside village of Spittal, once famous for its Spa waters and where you will find a long level promenade (from which Lowry painted) looking over an unspoilt beach with distant views of The Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Spittal marks the end of the walk, for those not wanting to walk back into Berwick Upon Tweed, then there is a local bus service from Spittal which runs every twenty minutes through the day.
This is a lovely walk, providing not only superb views but an insight into Berwick's turbulent history. It is suitable for all abilities, Most areas are wheelchair accessible. It allows you to go at your own pace, stopping and restarting whenever you want or selecting just sections for a walk. You are never far away from shops, cafes and restaurants throughout the walk.
It is worth mentioning that from June – September 2014 there is an exhibition of Lowry's paintings and drawings of Berwick Upon Tweed and the surrounding area in The Art Gallery at The Granary building in Dewars Lane Berwick Upon Tweed – the starting point for the walk. We visited this exhibition which shows around thirty pieces of his work which I really enjoyed. After the exhibition we enjoyed a light meal in the Granary Café.
The town of Berwick Upon Tweed has many attractions, and a variety of holiday accommodation, hotels, guest houses B&Bs as well as large and small holiday parks providing lodge or caravan accommodation.
The town has changed hands with Scotland thirteen times, but currently is very much in England. It has a main line rail station served by East Coast Rail and Cross Country Rail and is just 50 minute rail journey from Edinburgh where all the attractions of a capital city can be found.
For those who enjoy walking at a leisurely pace and are interested in Art, then this walk would be very appealing.
The walk is completely free and you can complete the walk at any time of day.